11/6/07

A Thought



Did you ever think that attending church isn't just for you? Maybe it's to encourage the pastor?

We are a part of a wonderful church, good preaching, good ministries, but it really lacks in faithful attendance from about 70% of the congregation. Here's an "insiders" view from two Sundays ago: One pastor spent 8 hours decorating the sanctuary, 4 hours planning worship, 2 hours practicing the music (not including the "special" song for this particular sermon), and that is not even the preparation that the senior pastor did for his message. Out of 85 people that could've shown up, only 37 were in the sanctuary. It was a bit discouraging.

I know that there will always be extenuating circumstances keeping oneself from being in a church service, but it's only an hour and a half long and can mean that difference between being refreshed for a new week, or not.

If someone can't be in a service, it doesn't hurt to let the pastor know that you wished you could be there. The pastor's really want genuine relationships with their congregation. They're not just a "pretty face" (literally!) If you'd really like to bless your pastor, one of the easiest ways is a word of encouragement. Unless, his love language is gifts, than a $2 candy bar with the word of encouragement will be more appreciated. I happen to have inside info that our pastor loves giving gifts (and most people enjoy receiving as they enjoy giving).

Last thing. The senior pastor that my husband is serving with (my hubby is the worship pastor) is the first person whose messages I appreciate more than my dad's. When I told my hubby that I liked Pastor R's sermons, he looked at me rather shocked and said, "that's huge, coming from you." Yeah, I tend to be really critical when it comes to my spiritual needs in a sermon. I have yet to tell Pastor R... maybe I should follow through with my own advice :)!

Anyway, don't know who'll read this, but bless your pastor by showing up. And while you're there, sign up to be a greeter once a month. It'll help keep you regular.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think going to church "for the pastor" is the wrong reason to attend church. Is that what you really meant to say?

Yes, I agree that we should appreciate our pastors for all the time and preparation placed into the worship service and share it with them, but for me, (and I know you feel the same way) the reasons to attend church is for spiritual nourishment, to honor God, worship him, fellowship with the church body, and spiritual accountability... among other things.

Having been in charge of various ministries for over 25 years, I can whole heartedly confirm that people WILL LET YOU DOWN. It hurts, and it's discouraging... but honey, you and your husband are serving the Lord, and you're doing a fine job ... do not be discouraged by the lack of attendance, because then, you end up placing your hope in man.

Instead, rejoice that we had 37 in attendance, and look forward to encouraging the other 48 to come out the following Sunday, because "they really missed out on a special time of worship."

As you said, there will always be extenuating circumstances that keep oneself from attending a church service (sickness, age, etc). It is discouraging... but even more discouraging than that is when people are too wrapped up in their life, their sports games, their personal entertainment, or just wanting to sleep in or catch up on their chores to come to church. THAT'S a problem, and THAT needs to be addressed.

But sadly ... it happens. So what can we do about it? And note, I said WE ;-) because maybe I can help ... we can encourage them, exhort them, and continue inviting them back... so that they don't have any excuses for acquiring a "sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." (Heb. 3:12-15)

So, let's see how "inventive" we can get, and let's turn the discouragement around to encouragement!!! Like the letter you just gave out to all the ladies from the retreat! That was outstanding!

"So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching." Heb. 10:22-25 (The Message)

Sorry to hijack your comments section!

GiBee said...

For some reason, that came up as anonymous, but it was me... GiBee.